Advanced Practice Key for Healthcare Information Technology

Advanced Practice Healthcare Information TechnologyNurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are absolutely key when it comes to healthcare information technology. Meaningful use of Electronic Hospital Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is a huge topic in the industry right now, and it turns out that advanced practice professionals are a big asset in this very important area.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a May 2013 data brief focusing on “EHR adoption by NPs and PAs,” and aiming to illustrate “the number and location of these providers enrolled with [Regional Extension Center programs] and their progress toward meaningful use of EHRs in underserved and other high priority settings.”

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants job opportunities are expected to increase substantially in the next 10-15 years. And as the need for NPs and PAs become even bigger, so does the advanced practice role in transferring to and operating healthcare information technology. This extensive report shows some of the ways and means that NPs and PAs are already active in this area and some projection of how they will become even bigger players when it comes to meaningful use of healthcare information technology systems.

Funded by 2009’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the ONC offers Regional Extension Center (RECs) programs meant to “stimulate the adoption and use of health IT to transform healthcare delivery.”

The brief includes impressive facts and figures, accompanied by several helpful graphs and charts, including the stat that 4 of 5 NP/PAs enrolled with a REC are live with an EHR. To view the full brief click here.

What’s your personal experience with healthcare information technology and the transition to EHR and EMR systems? What difficulties have you faced? What successes have you celebrated? Do you think NPs and PAs have unique role to play in EHR and EMR systems implementation?

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